Thu, Jan 10, 2013, 00:00

A round-up of today's other stories in brief

K-League bans extended worldwide

Forty-one players from South Korea’s K-League have had their lifetime bans extended worldwide following a match-fixing scandal, although 21 of them have been offered a reprieve, Fifa said yesterday.

The 41 had already been banned for life by the Korean FA following the scandal which erupted in 2011 and involved matches played the previous year. The scandal led the South Korean government to threaten to wind up the K-League if action was not taken.

Ten other players involved in match-fixing were given worldwide bans by Fifa in June while in March, South Korea’s volleyball association banned 11 players for life in a bid to curb corruption in domestic sport.

Fifa said that a reprieve had been offered to 21 players who turned themselves in during the voluntary reporting period.

Adebayor hints Villas-Boas not happy with him playing for Togo

Emmanuel Adebayor, who retired from international football following the deadly gun attack on the Togo team bus at Africa Cup of Nations in Angola in 2010, has been included in Togo’s squad for this year’s tournament despite the striker hinting Andre Villas-Boas was not totally happy about him playing in the competition.

Spurs confirmed yesterday that, after weeks of indecision, Adebayor had finally agreed to answer his country’s pleas and will play in the tournament, which runs from January 19th to February 10th.

Spurs manager Villas-Boas has always insisted when asked about the situation that he would be happy to let Adebayor go to the tournament despite the fact that it would leave him with only one recognised striker in Jermain Defoe.

Yet Adebayor hinted in an interview with that despite Villas-Boas’s public declaration of support, the Portuguese may not be happy with his participation.

“That is what he said to the press, but not what he said to me,” Adebayor said. “There is a difference between what you say to the press and what you say in private.”

Two-thirds of Real members feel Mourinho has a negative impact

Almost two-thirds of Real Madrid’s members believe coach Jose Mourinho has a negative impact on the La Liga club’s image, according to a survey published in Marca sports daily yesterday.

Among 704 members asked at the stadium before Sunday’s game at home to Real Sociedad, or by telephone, whether the Portuguese’s actions and statements were damaging, 61.6 per cent answered yes, with 33.1 per cent saying no.

Members gave his performance as coach since he took over in 2010 an average mark of 6.68 out of 10, down from 8.82 in a similar poll conducted in March 2011, but 54.4 per cent still thought he should stay on after this season, with 41.8 per cent saying he should leave, they added.

The survey, by polling company Sigma Dos, is the latest evidence that all is not well at Real, who are 16 points behind Barcelona in La Liga and will make painful reading for president Florentino Perez, who is up for re-election this year.

Chelsea profit reliant on one-off items

Chelsea’s much vaunted first profit of the Roman Abramovich era, from their Champions League-winning year, was only achieved as a result of one-off exceptional items.

When Chelsea unveiled their top-line figures in November, the club said the £1.4 million (€1.7m) profit was the result of their European success, transfers and improved commercial deals. Ron Gourlay, Chelsea’s chief executive, said the figures, which compared with a loss of £67.7 million (€83m) the previous season, showed the club was on course to comply with Uefa’s financial fair play rules.

But the full accounts show the profit stemmed partly from the cancellation of £15 million (€18.4) in shares held by BSkyB in a digital media joint venture that the club took full control of and £3.4 million (€4.1m) of dividends from those shares.

Guardian Service

Liverpool MD Ayre gives his full support to Suarez

Liverpool's managing director Ian Ayre has stressed that Luis Suárez retains the club's full support and insists the striker will not be affected by his latest controversy.

The fall-out continues to rumble on from the Uruguay international's handball for the second goal in the 2-1 FA Cup win at Mansfield. Even a Methodist minister from the Nottinghamshire town has joined the debate, criticising the "evil" of a lack of sportsmanship in football.

But Ayre, who dismissed claims by Mansfield's chairman John Radford that he was embarrassed by the incident ("It's nonsense to say that I was embarrassed"), said the striker had nothing to worry about.

He said: "These things seem to follow Luis around and it's unfortunate, but he has our full support. He's a fantastic player who makes a huge contribution to the club. Knowing Luis, it won't affect him as he's a very strong character."

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